Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has questioned President Muhammadu Buhari’s affirmation on establishing grazing routes around the country despite widespread opposition to the policy, He said the president may be suffering from “mental delusion.”
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“It’s as if there’s some kind of delusion about this thing, a mental delusion about this thing.” “What exactly is it?” During a press conference in Lagos on Friday, Mr Soyinka posed the question.
Mr Soyinka speculated that Mrari may be suffering from the ear-splitting noise caused by his son’s wedding bells last weekend.
“Perhaps the sound, the noise of the wedding bells (Yusuf Buhari) has contributed to the possible impairment of the hearing of the president of this nation. Because he does not seem to hear anything,” the professor of linguistics lampooned.
Mr Soyinka questioned why Mr Buhari was obsessed with “something that is being rejected, right, left, and centre,” citing several groups that have spoken out against the president’s decision.
“We don’t want any open cattle grazing, whether it’s called cattle routes or grazing reserves,” virtually the entire nation screams. Ranching is it, according to the all-powerful and untouchable Miyetti Allah, patrons of the murderous Fulani herdsmen,” Mr Soyinka asserted.
At meetings in Asaba and Lagos in April and July, the Southern Governors’ Forum announced a ban on open grazing in the region, with a September 1 deadline for full implementation.
Similarly, earlier this week, the Pan-Yoruba socio-political group Afenifere described the Buhari administration’s declaration on the grazing routes as a display of tyranny “when the overwhelming majority of opinions across the country is to abolish open grazing.”
Mr Soyinka claims that Mr Buhari’s formation of a committee to reclaim old grazing routes across the country had a hidden agenda.
“And then along comes a new version of RUGA with the president insisting on sending his agents out to map out and recover the old grazing reserves when governments and people, experts, agronomists, and businesspeople are saying this is the business and should be conducted in this particular way.” Why is the president so fixated on something that the people are rejecting? The activist inquired further.
“The obsession has reached such a level that even rational people, such as myself, begin to wonder if this is all about cattle. Perhaps there are other agendas that we are unaware of.”
Mr Buhari approved recommendations from a committee last week to review 368 grazing sites across 25 states in the country “with dispatch” to “determine the levels of encroachment.”